Chat with Edward Aschoff
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPN.com's SEC blogger Edward Aschoff will stop by to talk some college football.
Aschoff joined ESPN.com in 2011 after spending four years covering the University of Florida for The Gainesville Sun. He grew up in Oxford, Miss., before attending UF, graduating with a B.S. in journalism.
Send your questions now and join Aschoff Monday at noon ET!
Edward Aschoff (12:01 PM)
It's a gloomy day here in Atlanta, but the temperature feels just right. You know what else feels right? Football in the South. It just doesn't get much better, so let's talk about it, shall we?
Phillip (a stadium near you)
Edward,Looking at the SEC as a whole,it looks like the depth of the conference just isn't there this year,do you agree?
Edward Aschoff (12:03 PM)
Right now, I think that the meat of the SEC is in the West. The East is average at best, so, yes, the depth of the conference just isn't there right now. Georgia is hot, but is 0-2 against real quality opponents. South Carolina is MUCH better with Connor Shaw at QB and the defense is playing lights out. Shaw still has to be consistent each week, but if he is then the Gamecocks are the favorite in the East.Now, competing against LSU or Alabama? Yeah, not yet. The top four teams in the West might be better than any of the East teams right now. Still a long way to go though.
I think Florida has a chance to go undefeated the rest of the year. Do you think I am delusional or would you entertain that idea?
Edward Aschoff (12:06 PM)
Wake up Ryan. Your dream is over! Come back to us! We don't know who will be throwing the ball in the next few weeks and if that is the offense Charlie Weis cooked up for LSU with a freshman starting, then the Gators are gonna have major problems as long as Brantley is out. Also, where is the front seven? Did it stay in Lexington after the Kentucky game? That unit went from scary to timid very fast. I don't care how good Alabama and LSU's offensive lines and running games are, Florida should still be able to compete and it hasn't in the last two weeks. Getting a win at Auburn won't be easy and Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State remain. Don't count on undefeated.
Mike (Baton Rouge)
Ed, Now that the outrage over the taunting/excessive celebration call has died down, can we now just go ahead and admit how hilarious it is that the first application of this new rule was called against a punter for taunting?
Edward Aschoff (12:08 PM)
I got blasted on Twitter for thanking the football gods for the flag. Kickers are NEVER supposed to score touchdowns! Oh, and he taunted a guy in the process? Get outta here! I like the rule, but I think that it can get really picky. Showboating gets very old in sports. If this were a skill position player I would have been a little peeved with the call, but punters should know their places :)
Tennessee Volunteers QB Tyler Bray out for four weeks woth a broken thumb. Will anything change for the Volunteers? What will be the future for them for the remainder of the season.
Edward Aschoff (12:10 PM)
Matt Simms has to face a rough schedule in the next five weeks. LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas are still on the schedule. Those are tough defenses for Simms to go up against. Plus, Justin Hunter is gone and Tauren Poole has a hamstring injury. This Tennessee team has looked better than I thought, but things are going to get worse before they get better this year. Simms doesn't have Bray's arm, but he has his teammates' confidence, so that's good.
James owasso, oklahoma [via mobile]
Ou is the number team period! They have the best complete team and get better every week, lsu and bama are great teams, but how can you argue ou being number one? They beat a good florida st. Team, at the time they were a top 5 team, however they had a lot of get hurt in the ou game, and haven't played well since, ou killed texas another top 10 team, lsu nor bama have beat two top teams. Lsu did beat oregon, but they did give up over 500 yards to west virginia team. Bama beat a arkansas, and a over ranked florida team after their quaterback got hurt, and penn st. I've watched all 3 teams, and just because bama and lsu has played one more does not mean they are better, tired of sec. Bias media, do they watch the ou games?
Edward Aschoff (12:13 PM)
Listen, LSU and Alabama dominate when it comes to speed, athleticism and power. LSU has beat four ranked teams this season and both teams would dominate OU's offensive and defensive lines right now. OU is a great team. I think it's the best team in the Big 12 and easily the third best team in the country, but you can't sit there and say that the Sooners can keep up with either of these teams' defense for four quarters. I just don't see it and I've watched most of OU's games. The best chance for OU would be to force turnovers and both these teams have been extremely efficient on offense. Maybe next year?
Nate (Little Rock)
Hey Ed,Is there any senario where Bama, LSU and Arkansas ALL get into a BCS game? WPS!
Edward Aschoff (12:15 PM)
No. You can only play a game with two teams. Three just makes things cluttered ... But seriously, no. Only two teams can represent a conference in the BCS. I know. I know. It's a terrible rule.
Do you think a 1 loss SEC team should definitely play in the NCG? Are you up on the idea of having 3 SEC teams playing in the BCS games? I'm tired of watching the Big Least and ACC (on certain years) champion go on to get killed in the title game. We want quality games not an easy W in the Orange and Fiesta bowls.
Edward Aschoff (12:17 PM)
Say it with me now "Playoff." A one-loss SEC team deserves to be in if there aren't two unbeatens left at the end of the season (well, unless one of those teams is Boise State). I don't see an SEC team getting held out because of one stinkin' loss.
Considering how bad UK has been this year, how encouraged should SC fans really be after Saturday's offensive performance?
Edward Aschoff (12:18 PM)
You should be extremely encouraged by the play of Connor Shaw. Look, Kentucky is at the bottom of the SEC, but this team has played bad teams before during the season and the offense didn't do squat. Shaw IS the answer at quarterback and to have him throw for that many yards and touchdowns is a good thing. Also, be happy that the defense is still playing like it should be. Yes, Kentucky has the worst offense in the league, but the defense the Gamecocks threw out at the beginning of the year would have allowed at least one touchdown Saturday.
Bama Fan (Denver)
Assuming the Alabama/LSU loser gets Boise State in the Sugar Bowl (I know, it's very early, but we're just playing, right?) - how do you see Boise doing against either of those teams?
Edward Aschoff (12:19 PM)
I think Boise could play for a little bit, but the play at wide receiver and the lines scare me. I don't think the Broncos have the weapons at wide out or the girth on the lines to matchup with either team at all.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Best SEC Team in College Football this season?
Edward Aschoff (12:20 PM)
The SEC champion :)
tony (texas) [via mobile]
Did Florida make the right decision on making will muschamp the head coach of the gators???
Edward Aschoff (12:21 PM)
It is Muschamp's first season. Remember Urban Meyer lost to Alabama and LSU in his first year. It is way to early to question the hire. He hasn't even completed his first, real recruiting class.
Nick (Baton Rouge)
I've heard talk of Tyrann Mathieu for Heisman this season. Being able to watch him play is just fantastic. I know it's extremely difficult for a defensive player to win it, but does he even have a hope?
Edward Aschoff (12:22 PM)
If he can start returning punts more and making plays there then he definitely has a chance. He just finds ways to get to the ball and is arguably the most exciting defensive player to watch in the country. A couple more touchdowns won't hurt him either.
Ed be honest are you already counting the hogs out of winning vs LSU at the end of the season.
Edward Aschoff (12:25 PM)
If the two played today, I would go with the No. 1 team in the country -- LSU. I haven't seen anything to make me change my mind to this point. Now, that game is at the end of the season, so you never know what could happen, but I think LSU wins that game today, tomorrow and Saturday. I still think Arkansas is good, but if the Hogs can't run the ball against that defense, I don't see them winning.
Elizabeth (Chapman, AL)
Anyway Houston Nutt keeps his job and wins an upset against Alabama this weekend or will the Tide keep rolling, no problem?
Edward Aschoff (12:28 PM)
Well, I don't see him pulling the upset this weekend, but I see him keeping his job if he shows that this team is improving. Another four-win season probably won't keep him in Oxford, but six wins should. But can the Rebels even get to that? Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn are all in a row. It's going to be tough to get to six wins with that offense.
Hey Ed several weeks ago someone mentioned Joe Adams getting involved in the run game for Arkansas. Would you say he is really involved or just the guy we seam to go to for a couple of plays.
Edward Aschoff (12:30 PM)
I say give him more touches. Arkansas isn't getting anything out of its running backs, but Adams has big-play potential. Use him like Florida used Percy Harvin. Remember, the Gators didn't get great production out of their running backs, but Harvin made play after play as a running back and receiver.
I happen to believe UK will be the underdog against Jacksonville State in two weeks. Your thoughts? Also, should Joker Phillips be looking about NOW?
Edward Aschoff (12:31 PM)
It's hard to argue against that at this point. The offense is just too hard to even look at. Changes have to be made on that side of the ball and guys need to step up. Phillips will feel the heat if this team doesn't turn things around in the next few weeks. I don't see a bowl at the end of the year for the Wildcats.
Is Gus Malzahn still worth the $1+ million per year that he is getting from Auburn? Is Vandy glad that he passed and they picked up James Franklin?
Edward Aschoff (12:32 PM)
While I think that's a little much for any assistant coach, he is working with inexperienced quarterbacks and wide receivers. Michael Dyer is still churning out yards and he's doing so with a very, very young line. I think it's more about the players and not the scheme. The growing pains are hurting this team, but we all expected it.
Spurrier is benching his stale QB for his explosive backup. Dan Mullen should take a leaf out of the old ball coaches book and do the same. Agree?
Edward Aschoff (12:34 PM)
I do and I wrote earlier today that he should seriously consider it. It's time for this team to beat some West opponents and Chris Relf has hit the wall. Tyler Russell ran the offense very well in the second half against UAB and I don't see why you wouldn't at least get him more snaps in games.
Will Muschamp said he will make some changes and move forward with with the guys who will work hard and be dedicated. What changes do you expect he will make and does it matter?
Edward Aschoff (12:36 PM)
How about some better play calls for one? Two straight weeks of using the wildcat has proven to be pointless and with John Brantley out, there is no real passing game. I think the Gators have to start using their bigger backs more and I think that that defense needs to toughen up. Some players aren't carrying their weight at all out there and if Muschamp really wants to send a message, he'll bench a couple of his starters, especially on the defensive line.
Can people realize that putting up big numbers against UK does not legitimize a team? Everyone thought UF's run defense was domninant after they beat up UK.... 2 weeks later they look overrate/overhyped. Connor shaw has a good game against UK, and you think he is Legit? really, same guy who struggled versus ECU. I think Shaw needs a little bigger test, sorry UK but you dont count
Edward Aschoff (12:39 PM)
You're right, Al, but at the same time, Gamecocks fans have to feel good about how Shaw played. He was benched at the beginning of the season and came in and took a bad offense and made it look intimidating. Yes, it was Kentucky, who makes all offenses look good these days, but when you are using a new quarterback you want to see positive results. This wasn't a lose-lose situation for South Carolina. To others it might look that way. He plays well, Kentucky's defense is that bad. He plays poorly, South Carolina stinks. It doesn't work that way.
Ed, the Dawgs are looking to be pretty shorthanded for the upcoming game in Nashville. Who do you think steps up for us this week, and makes some plays to help us come out with a W?
Edward Aschoff (12:45 PM)
I think Marlon Brown, Israel Troupe and even Tavarres King need to step up. Rantavious Wooten has dealt with injuries, but he's another guy that we haven't seen do much this season. Aaron Murray needs some help in the passing game.
Hey Ed, after this week did arkansas prove that it deserves its top 10 ranking or are you still not sold.
Edward Aschoff (12:47 PM)
I want to see more consistency in the running game and defense, but if the defense can play like it did against Auburn, I think it does. But after the way the offensive line and running game struggled against Alabama and after the way the defense rolled over in the first half against Texas A&M, did you think Arkansas was? One week can obviously change our feelings about teams, but I'd still like to see more. That doesn't mean I don't think the Razorbacks are good, though.
How much worse can it get for the Vols? I am starting to believe we are cursed.
Edward Aschoff (12:48 PM)
Just tough breaks, man. The injuries on offense are gonna be tough to get over. The defense has played better than I expected, but it's still young and has a pretty tough stretch coming up.
Andre (Monticello, FL)
Ed, now I have to put you on the spot. Who will be playing for the SEC championship. Also is it possible to the SEC to go six in a row winning the nat'l title. Keep up the good work.
Edward Aschoff (12:51 PM)
Yes, I think the SEC can win six in a row. As for the SEC title game, for right now I'll go Alabama vs. Georgia. I think Bama has a slight edge over LSU with that game being at home and with Georgia's schedule, it can win out. South Carolina still has to play Arkansas and I think that passing offense will be tough to stop.
mexdawg (Puerto Vallarta)
Can my Dawgs beat your Gators this year in Jax?If they do and that's a big if do they win the east?
Edward Aschoff (12:53 PM)
When did I become Florida AD Jeremy Foley?? I'll take his salary any day, so thanks. I don't see why Georgia can't beat Florida this year. We don't know who will be throwing the ball for the Gators and with that offense, Georgia shouldn't have trouble stopping them. Georgia still needs South Carolina to lose a game in order to make it back to Atlanta.
Chad (Baton Rouge)
Did you happen to hear Trey Burton's comments on the LSU secondary on Saturday?
Edward Aschoff (1:00 PM)
I believe that he said Alabama's secondary was better, more physical and tougher than LSU's. I'm sure he was upset about the game and that he only had 21 total yards against the Tigers. It was probably a in-the-moment quote that I'm sure he'll wish he hadn't have said. But why even diss LSU's defense at all? The Tigers absolutely clobbered Florida and the Gators only passed for 100 yards. Sixty-five of them came off of one play in which Morris Claiborne made a bonehead mistake. I don't think Burton should be mouthing off about a secondary that played pretty well in a blowout win. Also, I saw where Tyrann Mathieu responded on Twitter calling him "soft as cotton" ...
Jordan (Chattanooga, TN)
What message do you have for the delusional portion of UT's fan base who are seriously suggesting that Derek Dooley is on the "hot seat?"
Edward Aschoff (1:02 PM)
I don't see it. He stepped into a bad situation and has had to deal with some big injuries this year. He also has a lot of young players running around. Oh, and he hasn't even gone through his second season yet. He can recruit and this team will get better. Look at that schedule. Absolutely brutal. Dooley has had to deal with a lot in his first two years.
Ed can we just accept Boise into the SEC for one year show them how football is played week to week and at the end of the season when they go 5-7 kick them out.
Edward Aschoff (1:03 PM)
How dare you even think that.
UF's front 7 started the season strong vs weaker teams. What happened, or are LSU and bama's running game that good? Have they already thrown in the towel?
Edward Aschoff (1:04 PM)
With all the hype they got coming out of high school, you'd think they'd be better. I know this is a younger unit, but LSU isn't having trouble with its younger front seven. What's Florida's excuse? Tough players have to show up and I think this unit isn't playing as tough as it should right now.
From what you've seen so far from Vandy, do you think they'll make a bowl game this year?
Edward Aschoff (1:07 PM)
The offense has to improve. It is just sputtering along and and it doesn't look good at all. The running game has vanished and Larry Smith's time at quarterback might be up soon. Changes need to be made because this defense can't carry the team for the rest of the way. It needs help. This team can still get to six wins, but it has to get that offense going.
Edward Aschoff (1:07 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions today guys. Another good day as usual. Talk to you all next week.